Friday, 7 May 2010

The Case of the Mangled Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer!

The sun was beating down on Hollywood like Buddy Rich on crystal meth, and I was baking in my office.

Cupcakes to be exact.

I had just taken out the cupcakes and put them on the cooling rack, when the door to my office swung open.

"Ya gotta help me," croaked a weak voice. "Ya just gotta."

It was Leo The Lion, my metaphor for MGM, and he was dragging himself along my floor.

"Leo," I exclaimed melodramatically, "what happened?"

"You were bored writing another rant about the movie business," answered Leo the Lion as he went limp on my floor, "so you started writing another one of your silly detective story parodies."

"Well," I replied, "I could have written about the Lionsgate management losing their appeal in the fastest Canadian court loss since they hanged Louis Riel, but no one outside of Canada would have gotten that reference, and quite a few Canadians wouldn't get it too."

"I can understand that," said Leo.

"But my question was actually about what happened to you," I said. "You're bleeding all over my new area rug."

"Real Private Dicks don't whine about their area rugs," replied Leo.

"It was a gift," I said. "Now spill."

"I am spilling."

"Not your blood," I said. "Tell me what happened to you!"

"I don't know what happened," answered Leo, "last thing I remember I was one of the top studios in the world. I made big movies with big stars.... then everything got hazy... then I blacked out. Next thing I know I'm in a dumpster, with United Artists tattooed on my backside."

"You don't remember anything?"

"Not a clue," said Leo.

"Well," I said, "you were passed around owners like a doobie at a pot party. Kirk Kekorian took the most puffs so to speak. You were merged with United Artists when they went bankrupt. Then you passed around some more. People used you to buy up the libraries of failed companies like Orion, Cannon, American International, and Polygram Filmed Entertainment, racking up billions in debt. You were passed around some more. You were even owned by Ted Turner for a while--"

"Oh god," croaked Leo, "not Ted Turner!"

"More debt was racked up," I continued, "all the pre-1986 classic MGM movies were sold to Time-Warner, you were passed around a few more times. And now you're almost dead, but your early films do live on TCM."

"Shit even more Turner," moaned Leo.

"Don't worry," I added, "Time-Warner shitcanned him years ago."

"Then what happened?"

"A new consortium bought you," I said, "a partnership between Sony and some others. They revived the Bond franchise pretty strongly, and brought in some new management, but too much was spent on movies like
Hot Tub Time Machine."

"How much?"

"Reports say $50 million."

"Shit," croaked Leo. "They should have never gone above $15 million."

"I know," I said, "but it happened. There was an attempt to get you yet another owner, but that sank and stank. Now your creditors are allegedly looking for a new mogul to run you."

"Am I doomed?"

"I don't know," I said. "I don't know."

"Man," said Leo, "this is a shitty detective parody. All we did is sit in this office and run all the ways I've been screwed over the last 40 years. You've barely done any of the bad puns you normally litter these stories with."

"Yep," I said, "it's Friday, a slow news day, and I'm feeling lazy. Wanna cupcake?"


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